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Flu cases "skyrocketing" in Delaware; health officials report fourth death

Delaware Public Media

The number of laboratory confirmed flu cases is “skyrocketing” in Delaware, state health officials say.

Delaware’s Division of Public Health is reporting 650 lab-confirmed cases from the week of Jan. 21. Last year, the highest number of cases documented in one week was 570.

The total number of confirmed flu cases this season is now at 1,950. About a quarter of those cases involve infants and children up to nine years old.

The state also reports an 82-year-old Sussex County man has died from flu complications and is the fourth person to die from the virus in the 2017-2018 flu season.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of those who have passed away from flu-related complications,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay in a statement. “As long as flu viruses are still circulating, it is not too late to get a flu vaccine. It is difficult to tell when flu season will peak, but all signs indicate we are likely to continue to see elevated levels of flu activity for weeks to come.”

Health officials say almost 400 people have been hospitalized with the flu in Delaware. Last year, only 160 people were hospitalized around this time.

The Division of Public Health encourages those who still haven’t gotten a flu shot to go get vaccinated.

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